Three-dimensional tomographic imaging and characterization of iron compounds within Alzheimer's plaque core material

Joanna F. Collingwood, Ryan K.K. Chong, Takeshi Kasama, Lionel Cervera-Gontard, Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski, George Perry, Mihály Pósfai, Sandra L. Siedlak, Edward T. Simpson, Mark A. Smith, Jon Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although it has been known for over 50 years that abnormal concentrations of iron are associated with virtually all neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, its origin, nature and role have remained a mystery. Here, we use high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS), electron tomography, and electron diffraction to image and characterize iron-rich plaque core material - a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease pathology - in three dimensions. In these cores, we unequivocally identify biogenic magnetite and/or maghemite as the dominant iron compound. Our results provide an indication that abnormal iron biomineralization processes are likely occurring within the plaque or the surrounding diseased tissue and may play a role in aberrant peptide aggregation. The size distribution of the magnetite cores implies formation from a ferritin precursor, implicating a malfunction of the primary iron storage protein in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-245
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid
  • Electron microscopy
  • Ferritin
  • Imaging
  • Iron
  • Magnetite
  • Senile plaque core
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Collingwood, J. F., Chong, R. K. K., Kasama, T., Cervera-Gontard, L., Dunin-Borkowski, R. E., Perry, G., Pósfai, M., Siedlak, S. L., Simpson, E. T., Smith, M. A., & Dobson, J. (2008). Three-dimensional tomographic imaging and characterization of iron compounds within Alzheimer's plaque core material. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 14(2), 235-245. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-2008-14211